IoT, or Internet of Things, refers to the general network of interconnected devices, as well as the technology that enables communication between them and with the cloud. IoT has emerged in recent years as one of the most important technologies of the 21st century. Continuous communication between people, processes and things is now possible thanks to the ability to link common elements to the Internet through embedded devices.
However, there are still some issues to work out with IoT security, as with every new trend. Read on to learn more about what you can do to address IoT security issues.
IoT Devices: How Secure Are They?
Considered useful for everyday life, IoT devices have become commonplace in many homes and workplaces. However, the popularity of IoT devices has led to an increase in related privacy concerns. Whether you use these devices for personal or business use, your privacy and security may be at risk. IoT devices such as smart speakers, televisions, refrigerators, security cameras, and other items are attack points for cybercriminals.
Most IoT security vulnerabilities stem from manufacturers not spending enough time and money on security. Only a small percentage of these devices undergo rigorous compliance testing before distribution. That means you may need to take some precautions yourself for maximum security.
IoT Security Best Practices
Use strong passwords
Only humans occasionally fall into bad password habits, but they compromise the security of our IoT devices. In light of this, you should try to avoid using the same passwords across all of your IoT devices and make sure that you use strong and unique passwords. Those passwords should also be updated regularly.
Another piece of advice is that you should never share your passwords via email or save them in your browser. You can prevent hackers from accessing your credentials by using a password manager to securely store and access your passwords.
Employ multi-factor authentication
A method of integrating more than one level of security to regulate access to something is known as multi-factor authentication (MFA). This method is already used in many online services, from an SMS code given to a phone number to a code generator that generates one-time access codes. Although challenging, multi-factor authentication needs to be implemented on IoT devices, particularly on the administrative end of things.
Multi-factor authentication is a feature that comes standard on most IoT devices, but some of them don’t have it. In such a situation, it might be a good idea to use third-party programs that allow you to get that feature.
Even if your IoT device uses two-factor authentication via its accompanying mobile app, having an extra layer of security provided by a trusted third-party provider may be just the protection you need.
Track updates and patches
While most IT systems can fix security issues through routine updates, most IoT devices weren’t built with this capability. You can visit the vendor’s website for new security updates for known vulnerabilities before setting up a new IoT device.
If you are using IoT devices at a corporate level, you may need to learn more about their security. To get started, you can set up a recurring firmware update and patch management plan with your IoT device vendors to ensure your devices are constantly patched with the latest updates. Updates are an important part of any device or software for security as vendors can fix a previous bug or security flaw.
Change default settings and passwords
You should never use the default passwords on your IoT devices. Since routers are often named after their manufacturer or the network they are connected to, hackers are given crucial advice on how to gain access. Also, it’s a good idea to refrain from using your real name or address because these are also useful tips for hackers trying to break into your network.
When you initially connect a device to your network, you must navigate through its settings and adjust it to meet your specific needs by turning off features you won’t use. Most IoT devices connect to other networks and devices when they are nearby. While this feature could be advantageous in a busy office environment, it also presents a security hole that could allow an unauthorized user to quickly join your network.
Establish a monitoring system
Maintaining careful control of device health and data flow is crucial in environments that host complex networks of IoT devices and use them to carry out critical activities. A monitoring system keeps track of the health of your devices and notifies you if anything is out of the ordinary. Unusual activity may be an unusual data stream, suspected unwanted access, or a link to the Internet and other networked devices.
The industrial world has been transformed by IoT devices, and now they have reached our homes and workplaces. As the number of linked smart devices increases in complexity and scale, we must address cybersecurity concerns before we experience security breaches.
You should take all necessary precautions to protect yourself or your business, even if they require additional time and money on your part. A security breach could be more costly in terms of time and money than if you had worked systematically and gradually to protect your IoT devices.
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